World's Largest Weather Instrument

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:05 PM GMT on August 05, 2005

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If you've driving the stretch of I-15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and get off at the Baker exit near Death Valley, you have the opportunity to see the ultimate tacky weather object--the world's tallest thermometer. Rising a full 134 feet above the dusty streets of Baker (population: 700),
the working thermometer is the brainchild of Baker resident Willis Herron, who spent $700,000 erecting the huge instrument. In an article in the June 2005 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Willis says: "Awww, I know it's tacky. But I also know people won't be able to pass it more than four or five times without saying, 'What is that?'". And hopefully pull off the expressway to take a look--and buy a burger at the Mad Greek restaurant or a slice of strawberry pie at the original Bun Boy restaurant, now owned by Steve Carter, whom Herron sold the thermometer to in 2000.

The thermometer weighs 76,812 pounds, sports 4900 light bulbs, and is held together by 125 cubic yards of concrete--much of this added after 70-mph winds snapped the thermometer in half shortly after it was built in 1991. The 134 foot height is symbolic of the 134 degree maximum temperature recorded in Death Valley in 1913--the all-time record for North America.

Dr. Jeff Masters

The world's tallest thermomerter! (robsters)
Located in Baker, California, 109 degrees
The world's tallest thermomerter!

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500. STORMTOP
2:28 PM GMT on August 07, 2005
im not saying it cant reach hurricane strength but as soon as it hit s 60 degrees there lies the weakness to turn it north out to sea...there is no way that depression has a chance of hitting the usa...im telling you this its totally impossible the way the things are set up for the next 96 hours...
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499. 147257
02:30 PM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
stormtop this could develop to a hurricane and its a wave from the african coast
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498. STORMTOP
2:10 PM GMT on August 07, 2005
you right 147257 and it will continue that way until the shear lets up and the dust calms down on the african coast...look for this to be a boring week in the tropics unless something forms in the the gulf..it could happen..
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497. 147257
02:22 PM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
this is for you stormtop

WATER VAPOR IMAGERY SHOWS AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH NEAR OR JUST WEST OF
THE DEPRESSION AND LOTS OF MID/UPPER-LEVEL DRY AIR. THE GFS AND
CANDIAN MODELS FORECAST A SURGE OF UPPER-LEVEL EASTERLIES TO
DEVELOP AND REPLACE THE TROUGH WITH AN ANTICYCLONE. THE UKMET AND
NOGAPS ARE LESS BULLISH ON THIS POSSIBILITY...AND SO FAR THE WATER
VAPOR IMAGERY SUPPORTS CONTINUED SHEAR. GIVEN THE INCREASE IN
ORGANIZATION AND GRADUALLY WARMING SE SURFACE TEMPERATURES...SLOW
DEVELOPMENT IS POSSIBLE IN SPITE OF THE SHEAR...AND THIS IS
REFLECTED IN THE INTENSITY FORECAST. IF THE GFS/CANADIAN
UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN DOES DEVELOP...THE SYSTEM COULD GET MUCH
STRONGER THAN CURRENTLY FORECAST. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE GFDL
MODEL...WHICH HAS CONSISTENTLY DISSIPATED THE DEPRESSION...NOW
CALLS FOR IT TO REACH HURRICANE STRENGTH IN ABOUT FOUR DAYS.
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496. 147257
02:07 PM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
look at the system a miles northen of the bahamas

http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/goeseastconusir.html
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495. 147257
01:18 PM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
the whole atlantic seems to have disorganised systems :/
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494. 147257
11:41 AM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
still watching that area
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493. Jedkins
5:07 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Mybe the low in the bahamas will enhance the already severe weather favorability.
492. Jedkins
5:05 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
The sever weather in florida over the past week has been relentless, for example a thunderstorm had a rain rate of 6.7 inches per hour,now rain rates of 4 - 5 ya but 6.7?Thats just incredible...
491. Jedkins
4:57 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Maybe even more sever weather for florida,mac dill air force base near tampa had a gust to 62 mph earlier and polk county was hammered by 2 severe cells today producing MORE damage....
490. Hawkeyewx
11:34 PM CDT on August 06, 2005
There is finally some convection developing over the center of TD9.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1923
489. HurricaneKing
11:54 PM EDT on August 06, 2005
look at the upper low by the bahamas. its getting convection.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
488. mobal
3:53 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
zdagn I was young then!!
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5331
487. mobal
3:47 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Just to throw soething out there, does any one remember Elana in 85. Crazy storm track.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5331
484. FLPanhandle
3:24 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
The NHC 2005 Tropical Cyclone Archive does not show it though so I may be wrong.
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483. FLPanhandle
3:21 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
I thought there was a depression in July that fell apart.
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482. FLPanhandle
3:18 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
LOL Good point but ther are not enough hours in the day for Stormtop......well we won't go there.
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481. Randyman
3:16 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
O.K. before all of you haul off to bed tonight...can anyone tell me what is the longest steak for the first tropical depressions all becoming named storms?...Correct me if I'm wrong but so far this season we are 8-0...if tropical depression #9 doesn't make it then it will be the first depression this year not to be upgraded to a T.S.
Member Since: July 26, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 222
478. HurricaneKing
3:14 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
enough about stormtop I want to talk about the weather.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
477. FLPanhandle
3:11 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Why would anyone ask Stormtop for his opinion when he is wrong most of the time. Someone new to this site looking for just a little more info on a tropical system could take to heart what Stormtop has to say.
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476. hazmat
3:05 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
yes but why would someone come to a message board for critical storm info? Always go with the NHC & your local weather center...heck worse comes to worse there's always TWC as well...but definitly not a weather hobbyist message board.
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475. FLPanhandle
2:56 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
I read Stormtops predictions solely for the entertainment value. I caution everyone else to do likewise and listen to the NHC for critical info regarding tropical systems. I recall Stormtop telling RioRose in South Texas not to worry about Emily because Emily would strike the central Gulf. Those type of irrsponsible remarks can endanger people's lives if they do not know better.
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474. 147257
02:57 AM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
its not that someone have to learn about his mistakes but i found it interesting to follow the blog hear everyone prediction and also give mine i really liked that but now is everyone mad on each other

so stop it everyone can gives his prediction also are it the most strangest ones but we still dont understand mother nature so you can give the most strangest things but stormtop if someone say something stupid let hem say that and give in youre own blog youre prediction but dont go say that he she is stupid
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473. FLPanhandle
2:51 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
I would expect one to learn from their mistakes
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472. 147257
02:51 AM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
TD 9 looks more bigger to me
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471. hazmat
2:45 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
The 11 is out...no Irene from 9 tonight...really struggling but stranger things have happened...if it can fight off the shear monster & continue west it's odds improve.

It's one thing to guess...quite another & even better to make an educated guess...remember...don't feed the trolls.
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470. 147257
02:48 AM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
l0l @ FLPanhandle come on stormtop predicted some good things but he is a human and human makes mistakes
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469. FLPanhandle
2:39 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Well, since Stormtop has predicted no tropical activity for the next 2 weeks I am really worried. Stormtop only has about a .003 success rate from all of his predictions.
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468. cjnew
9:35 PM CDT on August 06, 2005
im going to laugh really hard if TD9 gets upgraded to a tropical storm in the next couple of updates...not because i think it will but because i want to laugh...at people :)
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467. HurricaneKing
2:35 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Hey I told you it was crazy. I haven't been watching everything all day. I just made that up.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
466. 147257
02:31 AM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
Hurricane king i disagree with youre theory :P but i agree that we should watch it just like i told yesterday
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465. FLPanhandle
2:34 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Sounds like a Stormtop prediction
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463. HurricaneKing
2:32 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
crazy
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
462. HurricaneKing
2:30 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
ps I told you crasy.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
461. HurricaneKing
2:27 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
hello what about the upper low by the bahamas. Here is a crazy prediction by HK. I say a piece of the energy from the gulf low will go across florida and turn the upper low by the bahamas into a tropical system.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
460. 147257
02:13 AM GMT op 07 Augustus, 2005
What is going on in here i only see fights Stormtop i have to say you have some nice predicitions and i believe the most on a few parts TD 9 will become Irene or Jose if something in the golf. You have to say that the Depresion still excist and over a few days it will be on some more warmer water so it could develop himself

and to everyone else respect each other predictions
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459. pcolaFL
9:14 PM CDT on August 06, 2005
Ok Cosmic. I really hope that's what everyone is here to do. I am going to log out for the night. My doggies want some attention--or probably they really want a "scooby snack." I look forward to reading the posts on the tropics tomorrow. Goodnight!
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458. CosmicEvents
2:06 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
pcolaFl.....we are all here to talk about tropical cyclones, and share and respect all the opinions offered. The bickering you talk about is not widespread on the board. It's all caused by one sole, lonely, sad individual. Just this one. And once the teacher gets back in town, this one will be sent to the principal's office.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5527
457. STORMTOP
2:12 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
yes hawk i guess you are right about that..
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456. Hawkeyewx
9:00 PM CDT on August 06, 2005
I still expect TD9 to eventually move north into the central Atlantic, but I'm still interested in this system. There is certainly nothing else going on.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1923
455. pcolaFL
9:04 PM CDT on August 06, 2005
Seems like, historically, most things spin up from around the Yucatan at that time. I guess the biggest concern I have about this season is how HOT the water is. If a storm comes up toward pensacola again, Heaven forbid, I am afraid of it being worse that what we have experienced with the last two. Really, though, I think it should be improbable that my town gets another big one. That would be too many anomalies in a row!
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454. STORMTOP
2:06 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
i think if it stalls it has a good shot of becoming irene...if it moves to the nw it will be on shore and it wont have enough time to strengthen...it looks more impressive then tropical depression 9 right now..its also over the warm gulf stream and i imagine very little shear..
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453. HurricaneKing
2:03 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
Where will the upper low by the bahamas go. Can it become tropical and who am I. Stay tuned until next time.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2465
451. STORMTOP
1:57 AM GMT on August 07, 2005
i think september will be bad news pen and the first part of october im worried about for the gulf..
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450. cjnew
9:00 PM CDT on August 06, 2005
wow..i didnt no fish needed rain.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.